According to a joint study by TÜV and the digital association Bitkom, German companies are beginning to deal with the shortage of skilled workers on their own. 63% are now training their own employees in digitization skills; two years ago, that figure was only 36%. The respondents generally take the issue very seriously: 78% see digital literacy as being as important as technical or social aptitude, while 18% consider it to be the key qualification of the future. Although almost all companies consider the lifelong training of staff as indispensable, only 2.3 working days and 709 euros are available per employee per year for this purpose, and 21% of respondents are currently not providing any relevant training whatsoever.
More than half of all companies surveyed lack a comprehensive strategy for providing digital skills training, and many are taking only individual measures. In an effort to secure greater financial leeway for strategy development, the companies surveyed are demanding tax benefits for further training expenses, unlimited tax deductibility of the associated costs and state-funded incentives to put aside money for training. The lack of skilled workers threatens to slow down digitization in industry: SMEs, in particular, are suffering from the effects of the tight labor market.